AI in the Restaurant Industry: An Insightful Conversation

Discover recent conversation insights on the rapid advancements in AI technology, its implications for various aspects of restaurant operations, and the imperative for businesses to adapt and embrace AI to remain competitive.
Publishing date 08/31/2023
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In a recent YouTube podcast discussion, industry experts Kendall Ware, former president of Cinnabon, and Hamed M, founder of Milagro host delved into the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) within the restaurant sector. They explored the rapid advancements of AI technology, its impact on various aspects of restaurant operations, and the need for businesses to adapt and embrace AI to remain competitive.

The AI Revolution in the Next 2-3 Years

The conversation commenced with both experts acknowledging that AI is poised to revolutionize the restaurant industry over the next two to three years. The consensus was that AI would fundamentally change the way businesses operate and interact with customers. The experts stressed that professionals in the industry need to harness AI’s capabilities to amplify their existing efforts.

The Shift from Restaurant Owner to Technologist

A significant point of discussion was the need for restaurant owners to adopt a technologist’s perspective rather than simply focusing on food service. The experts emphasized that successful operators will need to integrate technology into their core operations and strategies, treating AI as an essential tool rather than a supplementary feature.

The Accelerated Pace of AI Adoption

Both experts highlighted the remarkable speed at which Artificial Intelligence adoption is occurring in the industry. An example was given about ChatGPT’s launch, which generated significant buzz and immediate adoption by businesses. They emphasized the urgency of keeping up with this rapid technological evolution and being proactive in integrating AI tools.

AI’s Impact on Various Aspects

The experts delved into specific ways Artificial Intelligence will impact the restaurant industry. They discussed how AI can streamline the interview, hiring, and onboarding processes, thus allowing restaurateurs to focus more on essential aspects of their businesses. The potential for AI-powered customer feedback and personalized interactions was also explored, which could lead to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Data-Driven Insights and Forecasting

The experts acknowledged the immense potential of AI in leveraging customer data for strategic decision-making. They discussed how AI can provide accurate sales and labor forecasts, enabling businesses to optimize operations and resource allocation. The utilization of AI to analyze customer behavior and tailor marketing strategies to individual preferences was also highlighted as a crucial benefit.

Navigating AI Implementation

Both experts emphasized the importance of embracing AI technology despite potential challenges. They stressed that while there might be hesitancy or apprehension, the alternative of ignoring AI could lead to falling behind competitors and eventual obsolescence. They advised restaurant owners to study AI, understand its potential applications, and consider partnering with experts who can guide the implementation process effectively.

The Future: Winners and Losers

The experts emphasized that AI implementation will create winners and losers in the industry. Restaurant businesses that embrace AI and leverage its capabilities will be positioned as leaders, while those who resist or delay adoption risk being left behind. They likened the transformative power of AI to previous technological shifts and urged restaurant professionals to take action now.


In their insightful discussion, the experts shed light on the imminent transformation AI will bring to the restaurant industry. They underscored the need for businesses to adopt a proactive approach, embrace AI technologies, and reorient their mindset to leverage the potential of AI for enhancing customer experiences, optimizing operations, and ensuring long-term success.

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